Nworah: UMD 'Better Than I Thought'

Manvel (Texas) offensive guard Mackenzie Nworah has held a Maryland offer since February, and during Memorial Day Weekend the 6-foot-3, 305-pounder finally had a chance to see College Park, Md., first hand. The Lone Star State product flew north with his mother May 22, stopping at UMD on their way to see relatives in Columbia, Md.

Manvel (Texas) offensive guard Mackenzie Nworah has held a Maryland offer since February, and during Memorial Day Weekend the 6-foot-3, 305-pounder finally had a chance to see College Park, Md., first hand. The Lone Star State product flew north with his mother May 22, stopping at UMD on their way to see relatives in Columbia, Md.

“It was just a great trip, I loved it,” said Nworah, who holds offers from UMD, , SMU, Arizona State, Texas Tech, Colorado, Houston, Illinois, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Purdue, Boston College and more. “It was really impressive and better than I thought it would be. Coach [Keenan] McCardell, my recruiter, he gave us a full tour of the dorms, the facilities and all that, and it was great. Then we learned about the academic side of Maryland, and that was really impressive as well. I loved it there.”

A high academic student, Nworah said the educational aspects of Maryland stood out to him the most. He said he wants to be a physical therapist and spent a good amount of time May 23 speaking to advisors and professors tied to that major.

“It’s a newer program at Maryland, and the academic advisors were giving me information on it and what I would need to do there,” Nworah said. “They were telling me about the different responsibilities and things like that, and how the football coaches are all about balancing academics and athletics. Maryland really focuses on getting your degree, and I love that about them. But it sounds like a great major, and it's something I'll be looking more into.”

Nworah, unfortunately, did not get a chance to meet head coach Randy Edsall while in College Park. He said much of the staff had previous responsibilities May 23, although McCardell and offensive coordinator Mike Locksley were both on campus.

“A lot of the coaches were at their children’s graduations, but Coach McCardell was there to meet us and I got to talk to Coach Locksley too,” Nworah said. “Coach Locks wanted to make sure he shook my hand and my mom’s hand, and just make sure I was having a good time. He sounds like a really good guy and someone who I could see myself playing for.

“But I spent most of my time with Coach McCardell, and he was great. We have a great relationship and he was really impressive. My mom loved him, and I already had a relationship with him. It was great.”

The Lone Star State product said McCardell showed the Nworahs the video of the new facility plans, as well as the renovations to the weight room and the player dorms. Moreover, Nworah learned about the history or Maryland, which grabbed his attention too.

“I saw the new indoor fields they’re planning, the tunnel, the other renovations… it all looks great. Maryland is going to be up there with some of the best programs when the new facilities are built,” Nworah said. “It’s great and something to really get excited about. Then I learned about Maryland’s history and how they won a national championship way back in the 1950s and all that, and how it’s grown since then. I really learned a lot, and I think Maryland has a great, rich history.”

Nworah went on to compliment the Under Armour connection, noting how he learned about founder Kevin Plank. He said he tried on numerous jerseys, his favorite being the red with black pants.

“I’m going to put those pics all over Twitter,” Nworah said, laughing. “The uniforms at Maryland are awesome. I tried on a lot of different ones, but the red was the best. That one is really awesome.”

Nworah, who mentioned that his mother was “really impressed” too, said UMD is one of his top contenders following the trip. He said the distance between Texas and Maryland would not hinder him from heading to College Park, noting that having family in Columbia “definitely give it more of a hometown feel.”

But he still has plenty of schools to see before making up his mind.

“Maryland was better that I thought it was going to be. It was so impressive,” Nworah said. “But I still have to see a lot of other places. I’ve got Missouri June 11, then Oklahoma State, Kansas State, SMU, Illinois, Indiana, LA Tech, SMU… a whole bunch of places. We’ll see, but I definitely like Maryland a lot.”

Nworah said he should be ready to select his college destination by August. He noted that once he's finished visiting various campuses he’ll have a good idea where he’d like to continue his football/academic career.

“I’m thinking I’m going to decide before my senior season. Why wait if you find the right fit?” Nworah said. “If I’m comfortable at a certain place, I don’t see any need to wait.”

TerrapinTimes Top Stories